Israel Blocks Marwan Barghouti’s Son From Entering for Family Event

A key Israeli Arab legislator calls it ‘senseless abuse’ of the family of the Fatah leader serving life sentences for his role in the second intifada.

Jailed Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti attends a deliberation at Jerusalem Magistrate's court, in this January 25, 2012 file photo.
Ammar Awad, Reuters

Israel has prohibited the eldest son of imprisoned Fatah official Marwan Barghouti from attending a party in honor of his fiancée in the Arab town of Tira.

The elder Barghouti is serving multiple life sentences for his role in killings during the second intifada but is still seen as a possible leader for the Palestinians.

According to the family, the younger Barghouhti, Qassam, and his mother Fadwa were barred from the event, though other relatives were allowed to travel from the West Bank town of Kubar near Ramallah. The celebration is taking place in Tira a few days before the bride goes to live in her new home.

In the Arab tradition, the groom comes to a feast held by the bride, so the younger Barghouti, his mother and other relatives applied to the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories for permission to enter Israel. They would travel to the bride’s home in Tira, but only the groom and his mother did not receive permits.

Sources told Haaretz that the chairman of the Joint List of Arab parties, MK Ayman Odeh, asked cabinet members and the Prime Minister’s Office to let Qassam and Fadwa Barghouti reach Tira, but the officials cited security reasons.

Alex Libak

“This is senseless abuse,” Odeh was quoted as saying. “We know that Fadwa comes into Israel when she wants to visit Marwan in prison or take part in other social events, so this strange conduct cannot be explained.”

The Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories said the issue was being handled by the Shin Bet security service, which said it was checking and would respond later.